Dental myths abound - from George Washington’s wooden teeth (yes, he had serious dental issues and wore dentures - including ivory, gold, and lead - but never wood) to the assertion that a tooth left in a glass of cola overnight will disintegrate. We love a good story as much as the next person, but since your dental health hinges on whether or not some of these are true, today we are acting as your personal mouth-myth busters.
Myth: Mom and Dad have healthy teeth, so you will too
Fact: Yes, genetics do play a part in the state of your overall dental health. But this is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. You still need to take care of your teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease from sneaking up on you.
You are one step ahead of the game, though, since you clearly have the potential for enjoying a healthy mouth. Hopefully, mom and dad’s gift will help you to avoid complex dental work down the road. But daily brushing, flossing regularly, and professional dental cleanings every six months plays a greater role in maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile.
Myth: Your teeth feel fine, so you don’t need to see the dentist every six months
Fact: Hah! You wish…The American Dental Association is made up of some remarkably dental- savvy professionals, and they recommend visiting your dentist every six months. Regular visits are preventative, because the point is not to wait until you notice the mother of all cavities developing. The point is, however, to find that cavity before you can see it, when it’s still itty-bitty and easy to fix.
Myth: If you can’t brush, chewing sugar-free gum after meals is just as effective
Fact: Gum will also carry some of the debris away from your teeth. However, plaque (the bad guy) and particles of food lodged between your teeth can only be thoroughly removed by brushing and flossing. We concede, however, that chewing sugar-free gum after you eat will make your breath minty fresh.
Myth: You can treat a toothache by placing an aspirin on it
Fact: We don’t care what your dear grandmother told you - don’t put aspirin on or near your gums! Aspirin is an acid, and if you place it against a tooth long enough, it can damage your gums and other soft tissues inside your mouth. Instead, rinse your mouth well with warm water and use dental floss to dislodge any debris. If the pain persists, contact our High Point dental office.
Myth: If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t visit the dentist
Fact: Visiting the dentist is extremely important if you’re pregnant. Crazy hormones don’t just affect your mood and cause cravings for Chunky Monkey mixed with pickles at 3 AM. They impact the condition of your mouth, too, and the state of your mouth has a direct effect on the health of your body that’s growing that precious cargo.
Definitely do avoid x-rays and oral surgery while you’re pregnant. In most cases, routine visits are safe during pregnancy, but make sure the dentist knows you’re pregnant so he or she can take appropriate precautions.
These are just a few of the more common myths we’ve come across. If you ever have a question or need advice about dental issues, don’t call grandma (unless she’s a dentist.) Contact our High Point dental office, and we’ll help you get the information you need!